Wake Ed

Wake County may make it easier to become school volunteers

The Wake County school system could make it easier this upcoming school year for people to register to become volunteers.

Muriel Summers, the principal of Combs Elementary School in Raleigh, said one of the district’s goals for the 2015-16 school year is to modify the volunteer registration process and release guidelines to create a more uniform approach among schools. Summers also told the school board on Tuesday that district staff is investigating the possibility of 24/7 registration from sites that are most convenient to volunteers.

Summers is co-chair of the district’s strategic plan community engagement team. The individual committees gave the board an update this week on how they’re trying to implement the strategic plan, which includes the goal of raising the graduation rate to 95 percent by 2020.

One of the community engagement team’s strategies is to increase community volunteers from areas such as business, faith-based and civic groups to be trained to match school needs.

There are 45,351 volunteers registered in the school system’s database. Volunteers need to re-register annually so that the school system can conduct a criminal background check.

Summers said one of the “small victories” the community engagement team wanted to accomplish this year was to improve the volunteer registration process.

From July through October, Summers said volunteers can register at any school from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Volunteers use designated computers to complete the registration process.

After October, volunteers can only register on Mondays.

Summers said the committee wanted to investigate the impact of opening the registration process every weekday throughout the school year.

Summers said they piloted it this past spring when schools were in “desperate need” for proctors during testing. She said the Office of Communications opened the volunteer registration to all five days of the week, allowing schools to get the proctors needed.

Summers said the feedback was very positive and school administrators were extremely appreciative.

Go to www.wcpss.net/domain/42 for more information on how to become a Wake school volunteer.